Cape Elizabeth’s Brooke Harvey (12) and Megan Connelly try to block a shot during the Capers’ 3-2 loss to Yarmouth in the Class B state final.
Cape Elizabeth’s Karli Chapin soars over the crowd to head the ball during the top-ranked Capers’ 2-1 win over two-time defending state champion Yarmouth in Monday’s Class B South semifinal.
(Ed. Note: For the complete Cape Elizabeth-Yarmouth girls’ soccer and Cape Elizabeth-Yarmouth volleyball game stories, with photos, see theforecaster.net)
Now that the cross country (see story) and volleyball seasons have come to a close, all eyes in Forecaster Country turn to football and soccer.
Several teams still entertained championship dreams at press time.
Here’s a look at last week’s postseason action and a look at what’s coming up:
Cape Elizabeth and Scarborough’s volleyball teams weren’t able to repeat as state champions this fall.
The defending Class B champion Capers, ranked first for the playoffs, shut out No. 8 Kennebunk and fourth-ranked York to get to the state final last Friday night against No. 2 Yarmouth at South Portland High School.
Cape Elizabeth dropped the first two games, 25-17 and 25-18, then rallied to take the third set (25-18) and the fourth (25-23) to set up a winner-take-all fifth game.
There, the Capers led, 1-0, but soon fell behind and couldn’t catch up and lost, 15-11, to drop the match, 3-2.
Cape Elizabeth got 27 assists from Corina Page, 17 service points from Julia Torre, 14 service points from Kalie Manning, 13 kills from Megan Connelly and 11 service points from Aerin Manning, but finished 15-2 and runner-up.
“We fight and we fight and we fight and win or lose, we make sure to leave everything on the court,” Capers coach Sarah Boeckel said. “Yarmouth played a great match and they came and did what they needed to do. We dug ourselves into too many holes. You can’t do that against a team that plays really well.
“I told the girls that we made it to the finals and that we’re a very good team and we fought and there’s nothing to be ashamed of finishing second.”
Cape Elizabeth graduates some top players, but looks to return to the mountaintop in 2019.
“I hope the younger kids are hungry for next year,” Boeckel said. “They got some experience. We’re going to be OK.”
Scarborough, the defending Class A champion, ranked third this fall, blanked No. 6 Windham in the quarterfinals, but at second-ranked Gorham in the semifinals, the Red Storm fell in four-sets (22-25, 18-25, 25-23, 23-25) to finish the season 13-3.
Cape Elizabeth’s football team began the playoffs last Friday night and advanced to the semifinals for the fourth year in a row.
The Capers, ranked fourth in Class C South, defeated fifth-ranked York, 40-27, in the quarterfinal round. A Garrett Mello 10-yard run put Cape Elizabeth up, 6-0, after one quarter. The Capers soon went ahead by a 26-0 margin, but the Wildcats drew back within 32-27 before Andrew Hartel hit Ethan Convey with a touchdown pass to account for the final score.
“You have to give York credit,” Mello said. “They got us in a shootout and fought hard. That’s what happens in playoff football. You have to expect the unexpected. We bent but we didn’t break.”
“Our (defense) was spotty at times, but I thought it stepped up at critical moments,” said Cape Elizabeth coach Aaron Filieo. “We talked about coming out fast and getting ahead, and we did that. It was very important.”
The Capers (5-4) advanced to visit top-ranked Leavitt (8-1) in Friday’s semifinal round. The Hornets won, 42-20, Sept. 14 in Cape Elizabeth. Leavitt has won both prior playoff meetings: 35-21 in the 2009 Class B state final and 21-9 in the 2013 Western C semifinals.
In Class A South, South Portland earned the No. 6 seed after a 1-7 campaign, but the Red Riots declined their postseason invitation, citing low numbers due to injuries, allowing third-ranked Bonny Eagle to move on to the semifinals.
“As we moved through the week, we have determined that our team personnel and football depth chart has changed due to players not being able to dress, which has significantly impacted our determination that our student-athletes can safely participate,” South Portland athletic director Todd Livingston said, in a prepared statement.
Monday, Red Riots coach Steve Stinson resigned after 14 years.
“After 14 amazing years as head coach of the Red Riots varsity football team and much thought, I have decided to resign my head coach position,” Stinson said, in a press release from the school. “Being a head coach takes an incredible amount of time and energy. I have decided to spend my time and invest my energy in other endeavors. I feel fortunate to have been given the chance and blessed to have been able to work with such outstanding players, parents, coaches, teachers and administrators throughout my tenure.”
“Coach Stinson provided outstanding leadership while overseeing all aspects of the high school program, coaching staff and coordination with our booster organization,” Livingston said in the press release. “We thank him for his effort, hard work and dedication. I’m appreciative of the character and leadership lessons he has provided for our student-athletes and I wish him the best in his future coaching endeavors.”
South Portland is currently looking for Stinson’s replacement.
Scarborough, the defending Class A champion and No. 2 seed in Class A South, earned a quarterfinal round bye and will host Bonny Eagle (5-3) in the semifinals Friday evening. On Oct. 20, the host Red Storm outlasted the Scots, 48-35, to finish the regular season 6-1. Bonny Eagle has won both prior playoff meetings: 27-0 in the 2013 Western A semifinals and 40-20 in the 2016 Class A South Final.
Cape Elizabeth’s boys’ soccer team was preparing at press time for its first regional final since 2002. The Capers, ranked fourth in Class B South, blanked No. 5 Lincoln Academy, 5-0, in the quarterfinals, then vanquished longtime nemesis Yarmouth, the top seed and four-time defending state champion, 2-1, last Friday in the semifinals behind goals from Archie McEvoy and Phil Tarling. Cape Elizabeth snapped the Clippers’ 17-game postseason win streak and their 45-game unbeaten run.
Even better, the Capers advanced to visit No. 2 Freeport (11-3-2) Wednesday evening in the Class B South Final. The teams split this year, with the Capers winning at home, 2-0, Sept. 17 and the Falcons winning, 2-1, at home Oct. 12. The teams met once before in the playoffs, a 2-1, overtime victory for Cape Elizabeth in the 2015 Class B South preliminary round.
If the Capers advanced to their first state final since 1997 (the year of their last championship), they will play either Presque Isle (13-1-2) or Washington Academy (12-5) Saturday at 5:30 p.m., in Hampden. Cape Elizabeth has no history with either squad.
Cape Elizabeth and Scarborough’s girls’ soccer teams were two wins from a championship at press time.
The Red Storm, the defending Class A South champions, went 14-0 in the regular season, but got pushed big-time in their first two playoff games. In the quarterfinals, Scarborough held off No. 9 Noble, 3-1, behind three goals from Emily Johnson. In the semifinals, the Red Storm outlasted No. 4 Windham, 1-0, in overtime, behind Madison Blanche’s goal (from Molly Murnane).
Wednesday, in the regional final, Scarborough (16-0) hosted No. 3 Cheverus (14-2). The Red Storm won, 3-1, Oct. 5 at the Stags. Scarborough had won all four prior playoff meetings, with a 1-0 victory in last year’s semifinals the most recent.
If the Red Storm make it to the Class A state final, they will battle either defending champion Camden Hills (16-0) or Messalonskee (15-1) Saturday at 10 a.m., in Bath. Scarborough lost, 3-2, to the Windjammers in last year’s state final and beat the Eagles, 3-2, way back in the 1988 Western A quarterfinals.
Cape Elizabeth, the top seed in Class B South after a 14-0 campaign, blanked No. 9 Gray-New Gloucester, 3-0, in the quarterfinals (Karli Chapin had two goals and Tori McGrath also scored), then Monday, ended the two-year title reign of fourth-seeded Yarmouth with a 2-1 semifinal round triumph. The Capers trailed early, but drew even late in the first half on a goal from Prezli Piscopo, then won it on a second half tally from freshman sensation Maggie Cochran.
“There were nerves at the start because Yarmouth is such a huge competitor of ours,” said Cochran. “We just told each other to relax.”
“It’s a lot of pressure because every team we play is the underdog and we have everything to lose and they have everything to gain,” Piscopo said.
“I really laid into the girls at halftime because they didn’t show up at the start,” added Cape Elizabeth first-year coach Graham Forsyth. “I reminded them that we set out a plan when I got the job and they hadn’t lived up what they had done all season. I told them to get back to that and there was no doubt in my mind that they’d be fine.”
The Capers advanced to host No. 3 York (12-3-1) in Wednesday’s Class B South Final. Cape Elizabeth and York played twice this fall, with the Capers taking both: 5-0 in York Sept. 8 and 2-0 at home Sept. 27. The teams met just once before in the playoffs, a 3-2 (double-overtime) victory for the Wildcats in the 2015 Class B South semifinals.
If Cape Elizabeth advanced to its first state Class B championship game since 2014, it would meet either Presque Isle (13-1-2) or Winslow (15-1) Saturday at 3 p.m. in Hampden. The Capers have no playoff history with either school.
Press Herald staff writers Steve Craig and Glenn Jordan contributed to this story.